In passing sentence High Court Judge Justice Goose said: “What you did Connor Chapman was as wicked as it was shocking.
“You murdered Elle, bringing an end to her life, and caused serious injury and wounded others.
“It’s utterly shocking you carefully planned a revenge attack in a gang rivalry. You had no thought for anyone else. The risks of what you did were as high as they were obvious.”
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Paul Grounds said: “Connor Chapman has today been jailed for life for the senseless and tragic murder of Elle Edwards in Wirral on Christmas Eve last year.
“Elle was a young woman with her whole life ahead of her who was simply enjoying a night out in a pub with her family and friends.
“The cowardly actions of Chapman on that night, firing at his intended targets while they were stood outside in a crowd, shows the arrogance and contempt he had for everyone else.
“As a result of his reckless actions Elle had her life tragically cut short.
“Her family, friends and everyone who knew her have been left devastated by their loss.
“Today Chapman is behind bars where he rightly belongs and where he will now spend a considerable period of his adult life. His co-accused Thomas Waring has also been brought to justice.
“No sentence, however long, can change what Chapman did but I hope knowing he has been brought to justice and is off our streets brings them some small amount of comfort.
“I also hope that it serves as a deterrent to anyone considering picking up or using a gun.
“I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Elle’s family who throughout this whole investigation and the trial have remained dignified and composed despite being forced to relive the horrific events of Christmas Eve. I hope that now they can start to properly grieve their loss.
“I would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service and in particular Nigel Power KC and Katy Appleton for the successful prosecution of the case.
“I would also like to thank all the officers and staff from across all strands of Merseyside Police who were involved in the case.
“From day one their commitment, dedication and hard work has been key to the investigation and allowed us to successfully prosecute Chapman and Waring and get justice for Elle’s family.”
Adam Clarke, Specialist Prosecutor for CPS Mersey-Cheshire’s Complex Casework Unit, said: “The murder of Elle Edwards has devastated a community and left her family and friends distraught.
“Her tragic death is keenly felt by so many. I, and the entire Crown Prosecution Service, extend our sincere condolences to her family and friends.
“Both Connor Chapman and Thomas Waring have now been sentenced and this brings this prosecution to an end. But, for Elle’s family and friends, the long process of coming to terms with the dreadful events of that night is probably only just beginning. We know nothing can make up for their loss, but we hope the conviction and sentencing of these two people will bring some comfort.
“This case is yet another example of the dreadful results of taking weapons onto our streets and into our communities. All too often it is innocent bystanders who pay the price,”
Chapman was jailed for 22 years for attempted murders of Kieran Salkeld and Jake Duffy, seven years for wounding, 18 months for assault, 15 years for possession of a firearm and three years for stolen property. The sentences will run concurrently totalling to 48 years.
His accomplice Thomas Waring, aged 20, of Private Drive in Barnston, was found guilty of possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender in relation to the murder.
Waring has been jailed for nine years for possession of a prohibited weapon and assisting an offender.
Anyone who has any information about the use and storage of guns and weapons is asked to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestopperUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Manchester United are once again opening up Old Trafford and Red Café for ‘Warm Hub’ evenings
Manchester United are once again opening their doors to people in need this winter as they kick off the 2023 season of ‘Warm Hub’ evenings at Old Trafford.
The community support initiative is returning after the success of last year’s campaign which welcomed locals through the doors to Man United’s iconic home ground and the attached Red Café, helping thousands stay warm, grab a hot drink and a snack, as well as socialise with others.
Focusing on those vulnerable during the colder months, as well as those who might feel worried or lonely during the festive period, United‘s Warm Hubs proved to be a truly impactful resource to many Mancunians in 2022 and will no doubt do the same this year.
Starting from Monday, 4 December and repeating every week right through until January, the area will be available to everyone and completely free, staying open from 5-8pm every session.
To sign up for the Warm Hub evenings — part of the wider ‘United By Your Side’ campaign — people can arrive at Old Trafford and register via the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand reception and will then be guided into the Red Café where they can grab a brew and something to eat.
Completely open to the public, the United Foundation will also be delivering a multi-layered approach to support the local community this time around, hoping to be an even more vital outlet to people around Greater Manchester than ever.
In addition to the obvious physical benefits of the warm space, the club want the ground to be a welcoming place for those looking for social connection over the holidays and beyond to spend time with others in friendly and safe surroundings.
As a charity supporting children and young people, the Foundation has focused its efforts on supporting families amidst the cost-of-living crisis after participants from its Youth Voice groups expressed concerns over being cold during the winter months.
As a result, the Foundation has now invested more than £100,000 in over 22,000 warm clothing items for every young person across its 77 partner schools in Greater Manchester and beyond, including hats, gloves, scarves, blankets and more.
These items have complemented the winter coats that were distributed earlier this year, following the matchday appeal that was held ahead of the Brentford fixture in October at Old Trafford — a brilliant drive that the club is also hoping to continue.
Donations from fans, club staff and men’s and women’s team players have also led to more than 2,000 coats being received, all of which have since been redistributed to identified families in need, local poverty charities and a charity in Ukraine. Heartwarming stuff.
Similarly, more than 200 shoeboxes – received thanks to Manchester United and Foundation staff – will be handed out to identified children as gifts ahead of the festive season.
Speaking on the return of the scheme, United’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Collette Roche, said: “We want people who are struggling to know that they are not alone, particularly in our local community…
“Sadly, we also know many of our young people will be facing challenges during the winter period and we hope by providing them with some warm winter clothing or a Christmas gift through the Foundation’s great work we will bring some joy and support to those in need.”
Children under 16 attending this year’s sessions must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 16. The last warm hub evening of 2023 will be taking place on 18 December and will resume again in the New Year from 8 January until the last Monday of the month (29 January).
Featured Images — Manchester United Foundation/Valeriy Borzov (via Unsplash)
‘Homeless’ man found dead in Manchester’s Gay Village
A man believed to be homeless has been found dead in a shop doorway in Gay Village following another cold night in Manchester.
Discovered on Sunday, emergency services were called to Bloom Street after witnesses saw him lying on steps in the doorway of a shop between the Village Chippy and Roadie’s takeaway.
Greater Manchester Police said the man found sleeping rough was “sadly declared deceased” at the scene and authorities are not treating his death as suspicious at this time.
His passing comes after the North West was hit with a yellow heat-health alert, with the Met Office and UKHSA warning that winter conditions place the elderly, clinically vulnerable and the homeless population at risk.
While his cause of death is yet to be determined, the freezing temperatures are thought to be a likely factor and a forensic tent was erected at the scene.
A passerby admitted that he thought the man was simply asleep but after a couple exiting the car park opposite went over to check on him only to find him not moving, they called the ambulance around 10am.
His identity and age are still yet to be confirmed, with GMP adding in a statement: “This investigation is in its very early stages and the cause of death is yet to be ascertained.”
Unfortunately, Manchester still has some of the highest levels of homelessness in the UK. According to statistics published by Shelter in January this year, the city ranks the third-highest in the country, with around 7,407 people (i.e. one in 74 people) experiencing homelessness.